The first spectrum sharing trial of the Authorised Shared Access (ASA) concept
with live LTE network operating in the 2.3 GHz band has been demonstrated in
Finland on 25th April. The trial was carried out by Finnish CORE+ consortium
coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
The new approach allows the possibility of providing extra bandwidth easily
for 4G networks. By enabling mobile services to share this band with existing
services based on ASA, the overall available bandwidth for mobile broadband
may be extended by 18%.
To guarantee future reliable availability of mobile services, mobile network
operators (MNOs) will need new frequency bands in the near future. A promising
solution for responding to the increasing demand is to allow MNOs to share
appropriate frequency bands with incumbent spectrum users while protecting
incumbents’ existing usage rights. This can be accomplished by defining and
agreeing a set of rules and conditions for sharing between the incumbent
spectrum user and the MNO under the Licensed Shared Access (LSA) regulatory
approach recently introduced by the European Commission. The ASA concept as a
special case of the LSA approach allows mobile communication networks (e.g.
LTE) to share frequency bands from another type of incumbent system while
guaranteeing good service for both.
The Finnish CORE+ (Cognitive Radio Trial Environment +) project consortium has
demonstrated the world’s first trial of the ASA concept for spectrum sharing,
using live an LTE/4G trial environment operating in Ylivieska, Finland. The
key functions and building blocks of the new ASA concept were successful shown
during the trial.
“In the future, when the standardization, regulation, network and terminals
are ready, ASA/LSA can function automatically. At the moment sharing requires
acceptance from the authorities, an agreement between the involved parties,
and that the shared frequencies have been described in the common ASA
repository”, says Dr Marja Matinmikko from VTT, the coordinator
of the CORE+ project.
Spectrum sharing using the ASA/LSA concepts is currently under study in
regulation and standardization in Europe with a special focus on making the
2.3 GHz band available for LTE networks by sharing with incumbents depending
on national conditions.
“The beauty of ASA is that it will use existing 3GPP radio access technology
building blocks. In particular, we can kick start ASA by using LTE Release 8
‘out of the box’ for the radio access. On the device side, there will be no
special impact beyond implementing the support of any ASA frequency band”,
says Seppo Yrjölä from Nokia Siemens Networks.
Authorised Shared Access (ASA) concept
The ASA concept (Figure 1) allows the MNOs to share spectrum from other
incumbent spectrum users under a sharing framework agreed with the regulator.
Sharing is technically feasible with existing infrastructure and a minimum
number of new components, namely the ASA Repository and ASA Controller.
CORE+ Research Consortium
CORE+ (Cognitive Radio Trial Environment +) is a Finnish research consortium
that consists of three research organisations: VTT Technical Research Centre
of Finland, Centria University of Applied Sciences and University of Oulu;
seven industry companies: Nokia Siemens Networks, PPO-Yhtiöt, EXFO,
Elektrobit, Renesas Mobile Europe, PehuTec, and Rugged Tooling; and two
governmental organisations: the Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish
Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA). The project was funded by Tekes
– the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation in “Trial
Environment for Cognitive Radio and Networks” program.
CORE+ web page: http://core.willab.fi/
CAPTION (Figure 1) : Key
stakeholders and building blocks of the Authorised Shared Access (ASA) concept.